MLB News and Notes August - 24

MLB News and Notes August - 24

David Wells reportedly headed to the Dodgers
August 23rd, 2007

Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Former San Diego Padres pitcher David Wells is reportedly close to signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

According to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger, Wells could have a deal finalized in time to start for Los Angeles on Sunday against the New York Mets.

On August 10, San Diego designated the veteran left-hander for assignment and he became a free agent after clearing waivers.

The 44-year-old Wells went 5-8 with a 5.54 earned run average this season for the Padres.

The veteran lefty has a career record of 235-156 with a 4.12 earned run average in a career that began in 1987 for the Toronto Blue Jays, and has included stints with Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox.

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Baltimore recalls Johnson; option Olsen
August 23rd, 2007

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles Thursday recalled pitcher Jim Johnson and optioned pitcher Garrett Olsen to rookie level Bluefield.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound right-hander, appeared in one game for Baltimore earlier this year, allowing two earned runs in two innings against Boston on April 25th. He went 5-11 with a 3.99 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 24 games for Triple-A Norfolk.

Olson went 1-2 with a 7.33 ERA in five starts for the Orioles. By sending the 6-1, 195-pound lefty to Bluefield, Baltimore can get him back quicker than if he went to Norfolk.

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Boston sends Lester to minors, promotes Lopez
August 23, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) -The Boston Red Sox sent left-hander Jon Lester to Double-A Portland on Thursday and recalled lefty reliever Javier Lopez from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Lester, who underwent chemotherapy treatments for lymphoma during the offseason, is 2-0 with a 5.67 ERA in six starts since Boston called him up from Pawtucket on July 23. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Lester will be back with the club next month and start Sept. 2.

Lester yielded just one run in seven innings against the Devil Rays on Aug. 14 but struggled in his last start, allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Julian Tavarez, who pitched very well in a spot start last Sunday, could take Lester's spot in the rotation in Sunday's series finale at the Chicago White Sox.

Last season, Lester was 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA for Boston in 15 starts as a rookie.

Lopez had pitched well out of the bullpen this year but was sent to the minors on Aug. 5 to make room on the roster for Curt Schilling, who came off the disabled list and pitched on Aug. 6. In 44 appearances this season, all in relief, Lopez was 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA.

The Red Sox also signed veteran infielder Royce Clayton to a minor league contract, and assigned him to Triple-A Pawtucket. Clayton batted .254 with a homer and 12 RBIs in 69 games with the Blue Jays this season before he was released Aug. 6.

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Notes from Thursday's games
August 23, 2007

CLEVELAND:
OF Kenny Lofton said he hadn't faced RHP Joel Zumaya before hitting a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning of a 3-1 win over Detroit. But he knew enough about the hard-throwing reliever that he wanted to jump on the first pitch. ``I didn't want to get into a hole,'' Lofton said. ``Coming off the bench pinch-hitting isn't easy.'' ... The Indians have scored three or fewer runs in 17 of their last 28 games, and improved to 11-36 in those games. When they score at least four runs, they're 59-20. ... CF Grady Sizemore, the only Cleveland player with more than one hit, is batting .311 with two homers and seven RBIs against Detroit this season.
   
DETROIT: The Tigers had to make a tough call to create a spot for LHP Andrew Miller, who will return from the DL on Friday to start at home against the Yankees, and chose to option RHP Zach Miner to Triple-A Toledo. Miner was 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 24 games, including one start. ``You understand that's part of it, but you don't expect it,'' Miner said. ... LHP Kenny Rogers (elbow) pitched a bullpen session Thursday and showed some progress, but he needs at least one more session, which he'll get Saturday, before returning to the rotation. ... RF Magglio Ordonez is leading the majors with a .353 batting average. He is hitting .383 in August.


MINNESOTA: The Twins placed third baseman Tommy Watkins on the 15-day DL with a lower abdominal muscle strain, and reinstated third baseman Brian Buscher from the 15-day DL. Watkins was hitting .357 (10-for-28) in nine games since making his major league debut Aug. 10, and was riding a seven-game hitting streak (.417, 10-for-24). ... Through Wednesday, OF Torii Hunter was batting .355 (27-for-76) with eight doubles, two homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games this month. ... 1B Justin Morneau entered Thursday without a home run in 27 games, his longest career drought. ... Wednesday's win over Seattle marked the 18th game Twins pitchers didn't allow a walk, most in the majors.

BALTIMORE:
The Orioles optioned Garrett Olson to Bluefield, the team's rookie level club, and recalled right-hander Jim Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday. The move was designed to fortify a bullpen depleted by Wednesday's 30-3 loss, when long relievers Brian Burres and Rob Bell both received extensive action. ... Manager Dave Trembley is undecided about his start for Saturday's game against the Twins. ``To be honest with you, we're really not in a very good position to look a couple days ahead,'' Trembley said. ``We have to take it one game at a time here and try to restore some order to our bullpen.''


OAKLAND: SS Marco Scutaro was scratched from the starting lineup with what manager Bob Geren called a ``non-baseball condition.'' ... RHP Rich Harden, on the 60-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder, is feeling better and threw at 140-feet. ... 3B Eric Chavez, out since July 27 because of lower back spasms, has resumed swinging a bat.

TAMPA BAY:
RHP Edwin Jackson is 4-12 this season, but has an ERA of 1.36 ERA in his last five starts. ``The biggest thing is being more under control with his emotions,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He just has a whole different thought process going on. He's using all his pitches. He's pitching.'' ... Maddon said RHP Jay Witasick (right elbow strain) might rejoin the team before rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1. Witasick is currently on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.


BOSTON: Manager Terry Francona made his point clear to Jon Lester when he was optioned to Double-A Portland on Thursday. It was just for one start and the left-hander will be back pitching for the Red Sox on Sept. 2. ``We talked to him at the hotel to make sure he understood,'' Francona said. The Red Sox then called up lefty reliever Javier Lopez from Triple-Pawtucket. That gives Boston a tough duo of lefties in relief with Hideki Okajima and Lopez. Lester, who underwent chemotherapy treatments for lymphoma during the offseason, struggled in his last start, allowing five runs in 5 1-3 innings at Tampa Bay on Tuesday. But that had nothing to do with the move. ``I don't think we said we were disappointed in his performance,'' Francona said. Julian Tavarez will now start Sunday's game. ... 2b Dustin Pedroia, who left Wednesday's game after being hit in the elbow by a pitch, was in the initial lineup Thursday but then scratched. X-rays on his elbow were negative. ... The Red Sox added some insurance and perhaps defensive backup when they signed veteran Royce Clayton to a minor league contract. He could be called up when rosters expand. The Red Sox are Clayton's 11th team.

CHICAGO:
Manager Ozzie Guillen was using a wait and see approach on LF Scott Podsednik, who had to leave Tuesday's game against the Royals with a strained right ribcage muscle. If Podsednik doesn't improve soon, he'll probably go back to the DL for a third time this season. He's already been there for a strained left ribcage muscle and a strained right adductor. ... Guillen's encouraged by the play of rookie third baseman Josh Fields, who has 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 69 games after taking over when Joe Crede was lost for the season after back surgery. With Crede expected back next season, Fields could be moved to left field. Fields has been decent at third base but he's not as good as Crede. ``Josh is not going to be Joe Crede,'' Guillen said. ``Josh will get better. This guy is a quick learner.'' ... The White Sox have hit at least 200 homers in seven straight seasons. Chicago will need to hit 58 homers in the final 36 games to make it eight in a row. ... Jermaine Dye has batted .303 with 12 homers and 24 RBIs since the All-Star break.


SEATTLE: The club has eight players with 50 or more RBIs to match the Mariners record set four previous times (1987, 1997, 2001-02). ... The team entered Thursday night with a major league-high 36 come-from-behind wins.

TEXAS: Manager Ron Washington kept 2B Ian Kinsler and CF Marlon Byrd out of the starting lineup after each played all 18 innings of Wednesday night's doubleheader against Baltimore. ... RHP Akinori Otsuka likely won't pitch again this season even after three doctors who examined his sore right elbow found no structural damage. General manager Jon Daniels said Thursday night that Otsuka would be shut down for up to three weeks before the right-hander tries to throw again. Otsuka visited Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this week and had already been examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in California and Rangers team orthopedist Dr. Keith Meister.


LOS ANGELES: Juan Pierre has an 11-game hitting streak. He's batting .417 (20-for-48) in that span. Pierre was thrown out trying to steal second base by catcher Carlos Ruiz, ending a career-best streak of 18 straight successful attempts. ... Jonathan Broxton gave up a homer to Tadahito Iguchi, ended his streak of 96 2-3 innings without giving one up. It was the longest streak in team history and fifth-longest in the majors since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. ... Chad Billingsley has held the opposing Nos. 1-3 hitters to a .178 average (27-for-152).

PHILADELPHIA: RHP Adam Eaton, on the DL with a shoulder strain, is scheduled to throw 40 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Reading on Friday night. If all goes well, Eaton could start early next week against the New York Mets. ``It's feeling better,'' Eaton said. ... All-Star 2B Chase Utley, out since having hand surgery on July 27, could be ready for a rehab assignment as early as Friday. He also could return for the Mets series. ... The Phillies had won five straight series at home before losing two of three to the Dodgers.


PITTSBURGH: OF Xavier Nady was out of the starting lineup with a sore hamstring. Nady hurt it running after a flyball in Wednesday's game. ... LHP Shane Youman will pitch the second game of a double-header Tuesday for the Pirates against Cincinnati. ``He was the logical choice,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ... There were no result available of the MRI exam done on the shoulder OF Chris Duffy. Duffy is at the team's training facility in Bradenton, Fla. ... LHP Paul Maholm has held opponents to one run in two of his last three starts.

COLORADO: OF Jamey Carroll was in right field to give the Rockies another right-handed bat against LHP Paul Maholm. ``We didn't put our lineup together by pulling names out of a hat,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``These are times where you have to be aggressive and creative and whatever it takes to win games.'' ... Regular RF Brad Hawpe is hitting .188 (18-for-96) against left-handers. ... OF Matt Holliday has a 13-game hitting streak. ... Colorado won the season series with the Pirates 4-3. ... Colorado hitters were 5-for-37 with runners in scoring position in the series.


CHICAGO: The Cubs acquired slumping OF Craig Monroe from Detroit for a player to be named. Monroe is batting just .222 this season, but is hitting .302 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 102 at_bats against lefties. The NL Central-leading Cubs are just 12-19 against lefties and are batting 20 points lower as a team than against right-handers. ``I think he'll be a nice addition,'' 1B Derrek Lee said. ``He has postseason experience so he'll be acclimated to these tight games coming down the stretch. It's just another good addition.'' ... Mark DeRosa started in LF for the first time since Sept. 1, 2006, when he was with Texas. ... Kerry Wood struck out Pedro Feliz in the seventh inning for the 1,305th of his career, tying him with Greg Maddux for fourth place on the franchise list.

SAN FRANCISCO:
Manager Bruce Bochy said he considered pitching out with a 3-1 count and runners on first and third in the 10th inning Wednesday because he was sure the Cubs would call for a squeeze bunt. He decided against it and Henry Blanco got the bunt down to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. ``We were close. We were really close,'' said Bochy, who has used that unconventional strategy before. ``I should have. You knew they were going to try it at one point.'' ... RHP Kevin Correia is penciled in to start Saturday's game against Milwaukee, if he is not needed in the bullpen before then.


SAN DIEGO: RHP Chris Young had his back checked out in San Diego on Wednesday and the team is hopeful he'll miss only one start. Manager Bud Black said Young is stiff and sore. In his place, the team will start LHP Wil Ledezma, currently in the bullpen, or RHP Tim Stauffer, currently at Triple-A Portland. ... C Michael Barrett, placed on the 15-day DL on Aug. 11 because of a minor head injury sustained when he slid into second base against the Cincinnati Reds, threw in the infield before the game Thursday night and will soon be ready to go on a rehab assignment, Black said. ``This was day four of him feeling pretty good,'' Black said. ``To step up activity, he has to feel good for a week.''

NEW YORK: General manager Omar Minaya said Pedro Martinez threw in the bullpen Thursday at St. Lucie, Fla., and will next take the mound Monday for the Class A team. Martinez will throw ``between 80 and 90 pitches,'' Minaya said. The team considered moving him up to Double-A, but decided the competition wasn't important and that it was best for Martinez to stay where he was for now. Minaya also said there was ``a little bit of a neck issue'' in his last start, when he allowed two unearned runs in five innings for St. Lucie. Martinez will not be called up before Sept. 1, Minaya said. ... C Paul lo Duca will two rehabilitation games for Class-A Brooklyn, on Thursday and Friday nights. If all goes well, he will play Saturday night for Double-A Binghamton at Trenton. Asked if Lo Duca would be ready to be activated on Monday, manager Willie Randolph said, ``I have no idea. I don't know his body. It depends how he looks.'' ... Randolph said he and Minaya have not discussed September callups, but that reliever Joe Smith would certainly join the team. ... 1B Carlos Delgado, who missed four games because of a hyperextended knee, looked uncomfortable at the plate in his return Wednesday night, and went 0-for-5. ``This year it's been a real struggle for him to find his rhythm, and this is no different,'' Randolph said.


ATLANTA: SS Edgar Renteria was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday, one day after he was activated. On the first pitch he saw while batting second in Atlanta's game against Cincinnati on Wednesday, Renteria checked his swing and aggravated the right ankle sprain that had forced him to miss 17 games since Aug. 3. ``It's difficult, especially because we're right there in the race,'' Renteria said. ... INF Martin Prado, who was optioned to Triple-A Richmond on Wednesday but never left Cincinnati, was recalled. ... RF Jeff Francoeur had collected 14 of his major league-leading 18 outfield assists since June 1. That's three more than the three players behind him in the National League have compiled all season.

CINCINNATI: Braves manager Bobby Cox didn't have to see Jeff Keppinger homer on Wednesday to respect the Reds infielder. Entering Thursday's game, Keppinger was hitting .348 against Atlanta. ``He's a tough out,'' Cox said. ``You can't strike him out. There's nothing but balls in play. He'll bloop 'em, line drive 'em, anything to keep the ball in play. I asked (pitching coach Roger McDowell), 'Do you think we'll ever get Honus Wagner out?''' ... RHP Matt Belisle will be recalled from Triple-A Louisville to start against Florida on Saturday, the team announced. Belisle was 6-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 23 starts when he was optioned on Aug. 11. ... In pre-game ceremonies, the Reds honored two Hall of Famers, catcher Johnny Bench and second baseman Joe Morgan, and outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. for being voted by fans to the all-time Gold Glove team.


WASHINGTON: The Nationals and Astros were still abuzz over OF Nook Logan's acrobatic catch up ``Tal's Hill'' in centerfield on Wednesday in Houston. ``I knew that the hill was coming up, and when you get there you really have to shorten your steps,'' said Logan, who fell down while making the catch. ``I didn't practice (shagging flies on the hill) because I didn't think I was going to have to run that far.'' Logan is also the team's hottest hitter, with a team-best .345 average since the All-Star break. ... LHP Mike Bacsik said moving to the bullpen for a period of time helped his rookie season. ``When you are out there, sometimes, you can really use all your best stuff,'' said Bacsik, who started Wednesday, allowing three runs in six innings. ``I really think I attacked the hitters better than I did the last road trip.'' ... The Nationals have already won the season series against the Astros, going 4-2 heading into Thursday's finale. Washington also won season series against NL Central foes Cincinnati (6-1) and St. Louis (5-1).

HOUSTON: General manager Tim Purpura said there are several starting pitchers currently in the minors that could see action for Houston in September - notably Triple-A Round Rock's Felipe Paulino and Troy Patton and Double-A Corpus Christi's Miguel Ascencio. ``(Ascencio) was a reliever in Triple-A, and was sent to Double-A to start. He likes that role, and he's comfortable in that role. We've looked at him a little bit,'' Purpura said. ... The Astros faced a rookie starting pitcher (John Lannan) for the 11th time this season. They are 4-6 in the previous 10 games. ... 2B Craig Biggio has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, with a .348 average in that span.


FLORIDA: Manager Fredi Gonzalez ordered his players not to show up early for Thursday's finale after the Marlins lost their eighth straight game. ``I said, 'Whoever shows up before 5 o'clock will be fined unless you need to get treatment,''' Gonzalez said. The Marlins had lost nine of 10 overall, and squandered leads in the eighth and seventh innings the first two games of a three-game series in St. Louis. ``It definitely takes the wind out of you,'' said Jeremy Hermida, whose two-run homer had given the Marlins a 4-3 lead. ... Dan Uggla was 4-for-23 batting sixth before going back to the second spot in the lineup on Wednesday. Gonzalez had moved him down after CF Alejandro de Aza was activated from the DL on Aug. 8. ... Hanley Ramirez' 26-game streak of reaching base safely, which ended with an 0-for-4 game on Wednesday, was the team's longest since Ramirez did it in 36 straight from July 27-Sept. 3, 2006. ... C Miguel Olivo picked off his seventh runner Wednesday night, equaling the major league-leading total of the Cardinals' Yadier Molina last season. No other catcher had more than two.

ST. LOUIS: RHP Ryan Franklin allowed two runs, three hits and the lead in the seventh Wednesday, and it cost him a victory when the Cardinals rallied for three runs in the bottom half. Official scorer Gary Mueller awarded the win instead to Russ Springer, ruling that Franklin had not pitched effectively, and Franklin had no argument. ``I don't deserve it,'' he said. ``I take all the blame.'' ... LHP Mark Mulder (shoulder) is scheduled to make his third rehab start on Sunday, this time for Triple-A Memphis. The first two outings were with Class A Palm Beach. Pitching coach Dave Duncan said Mulder ``should be capable'' of joining the rotation but said the plan had not been finalized. ... Closer Jason Isringhausen, who underwent hip surgery last September, had picked up three saves in consecutive games. Duncan said it was ``common sense'' that Isringhausen would not be available Thursday night.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 24

Baseball Today - August 24
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Friday, Aug. 24

Minnesota at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EDT).

Johan Santana struck out a franchise-record 17 over eight scoreless innings in his last start for the Twins.

STARS

Thursday

-Josh Willingham, Marlins, homered twice and drove in six in Florida's 11-3 win over St. Louis.

-Mike Piazza, Athletics, went 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs to lead Oakland to a 12-2 victory over Tampa Bay.

-Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners, went 3-for-5 with three RBIs in Seattle's 9-4 victory over Texas.

-Josh Phelps, Pirates, had three RBIs and a career-high four hits, and Pittsburgh beat Colorado 5-1.

-Chad Billingsley, Dodgers, allowed one run on four hits and struck seven and Los Angeles beat Philadelphia 5-2.

ALL'S WELLS

David Wells and the Dodgers agreed to a contract Thursday and the big lefty plans to make his first start for Los Angeles on Sunday night against the Mets in New York. The 44-year-old Wells was designated for assignment by his hometown San Diego Padres on Aug. 9 and placed on release waivers four days later. He cleared waivers last Thursday and became a free agent. He was 5-8 with a 5.54 ERA this season, the Dodgers will be his ninth team in a 21-year major league career.

ABLE CAIN

Matt Cain outpitched and even outslugged opposing starter Carlos Zambrano, shutting down the Cubs for seven innings and hitting his second career home run Thursday to lead San Francisco to a 4-1 victory Thursday. Cain allowed one runs and eight hits in seven innings for his sixth straight quality start. He is improved to 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA in August, doubling his win total from the first four months.

TRADE

Detroit traded slumping outfielder, Craig Monroe and cash to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later. The Tigers designated Monroe for assignment last Friday. The 30-year-old Monroe, was hitting only .222 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs in 99 games. Monroe batted .255 with 28 homers and 92 RBIs last year, then tied a franchise record by hitting five home runs in the postseason.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Carlos Lee homered twice and drove in four but Houston lost to Washington 7-6 on Thursday night. ... Vladimir Guerrero hit two solo home runs in Los Angeles' 5-4 loss to Toronto Thursday night.

SNAPPED

Florida beat St. Louis 11-3 on Thursday night to snap an eight-game losing streak. ... Albert Pujols went 0-for-3 to snap his streak of homering in a career-best five consecutive games.

SPEAKING

''Phillips had such a good jump that I said, 'Please don't foul this off. As soon as I saw the ball in the air, at that point, I didn't care any more.''-Cincinnati manager Pete Mackanin said about Adam Dunn's homer in the Reds' 9-7 victory over Atlanta on Thursday night. With one out in the 12th, Dunn hit a 417-foot drive halfway up the seats in right-center for his 35th homer of the season, giving the Reds their fourth win in five games.

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Tigers activate P Miller
August 24th, 2007

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers recalled the injury rehabilitation assignment of pitcher Andrew Miller on Friday and plan to start him against the New York Yankees.

Miller started two games for Triple-A Toledo and had a 9.00 earned run average in six innings pitched.

The rookie was 5-4 with a 4.42 ERA with the Tigers before being placed on the disabled list August 5 with a left hamstring strain.

To make room for Miller on the roster, Detroit optioned pitcher Zach Miner to Toledo on Thursday.

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Yankees distance themselves from gang-related apparel
August 24th, 2007

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Yankees responded to a group of concerned East Harlem parents who called for the team and Major League Baseball to stop selling hats from a cap manufacturer that adds gang colors and symbols to some of their items.

According on Newsday, hats were fashioned with a crown above the "NY" or with red or blue bandannas stitched in. Those symbols are well-known short-hand signs for street gangs such as the Latin Kings, the Crips, and the Bloods, according to Johnny Rivera, president of the Coalition to Protect Our Children.

"The New York Yankees were completely unaware that caps with gang-related logos and colors had been manufactured with the New York Yankees logo on them," the team said in a statement. "These caps were made under a licensing agreement between New Era and Major League Baseball and were not subject to the Yankees approval nor shown to the New York Yankees at any point prior to their retail distribution.

"The New York Yankees oppose any garment that may be associated with gangs or gang-related activity. Upon learning of the existence of these caps this morning, the New York Yankees contacted Major League Baseball. We were notified by the Commissioner's Office that steps had already been taken to recall the caps from all points of sale. The league ensured that no such product will be manufactured in the future."

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It's official: Dodgers sign David Wells
August 24th, 2007

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers officially signed former Padres pitcher David Wells to a contract for the remainder of the 2007 season on Friday.

On August 10, San Diego designated the veteran left-hander for assignment and he became a free agent after clearing waivers. Wells is expected to make his first start for LA on Sunday against the Mets.

"David is an established veteran and has a long track record of success," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. "He's a true competitor who has pitched well down the stretch numerous times and we believe he can do so again this season."

The 44-year-old Wells went 5-8 with a 5.54 earned run average this season for the Padres.

The veteran lefty has a career record of 235-156 with a 4.12 earned run average in a career that began in 1987 for the Toronto Blue Jays, and has included stints with Detroit, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox.

To make room for Wells on the roster, the Dodgers designated pitcher Brett Tomko for assignment. The right-hander is just 2-11 this season with a 5.80 ERA in 33 games, including 15 starts.

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Fielder's suspension reduced
August 24th, 2007

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Major League Baseball reduced the suspension of Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder from three to two games on Friday.

Fielder was originally suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for his tirade directed at home plate umpire Wally Bell during a 6-4 Milwaukee loss to Houston on August 12.

Fielder, cited for inappropriate and aggressive conduct, went ballistic on Bell during an argument that started after the slugger was called out on strikes in the eighth inning.

Fielder, who is hitting .283 with 39 homers and 97 RBI, will begin his suspension on Friday in San Francisco.

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Reds put Livingston on DL, recall Coffey
August 24, 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) -The Cincinnati Reds placed pitcher Bobby Livingston on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a torn labrum in his left shoulder and recalled right-hander Todd Coffey from Triple-A Louisville.

Livingston, scheduled to start Sunday, was 3-3 with a 5.27 ERA in 10 starts for Cincinnati this season. He will be reevaluated in about 10 days.

Coffey is 3-1 with a 6.04 ERA in a combined 48 relief appearances over three stints with the Reds this season. He was 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 15 relief appearances with Louisville.

Catcher David Ross also was sent to Louisville on a rehab assignment. Ross has been on the disabled list since Aug. 13 with a concussion.

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Zagurski to have season-ending surgery
August 24th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Philadelphia Phillies left-handed pitcher Mike Zagurski will undergo season-ending surgery on his right hamstring, the club announced on Friday.

Zagurski was injured in his last appearance, August 18 at Pittsburgh. The burly reliever slipped when trying to field a ground ball to the left of the mound off the bat of Pittsburgh's Ronny Paulino. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day.

Surgery will be performed on Monday in Pittsburgh, by Dr. Jim Bradley, who is the Pittsburgh Steelers' team physician.

The 24-year-old rose quickly from Single-A ball to the Phillies this season, going 1-0 with a 5.91 ERA in 25 appearances, holding left-handed batters to a .216 average.

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Braves demote Wickman
August 24th, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - In a surprising move, the Atlanta Braves designated closer Bob Wickman for assignment on Friday.

Wickman's demotion comes one day after the veteran right-hander surrendered a game-winning two-run home run in the 12th inning to Cincinnati's Adam Dunn.

Wickman, who the Braves acquired last season in a trade with the Indians, had blown six of 26 save opportunities for Atlanta, posting a 3.92 earned run average with a record of 3-3.

A veteran of 15 major league seasons, Wickman is 63-60 with a 3.58 ERA and 267 saves with the New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland and Atlanta.

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